Johnny Depp back in saddle for Lone Ranger

October 13th, 2011

Johnny Depp will start shooting 'The Lone Ranger' on a reduced budget in February.

Production on the Gore Verbinski-directed movie was put on hold in August because of the huge budget demands required for it, but having now shaved the cost from $275 million to $215 million, Disney has committed to the project and given it a February 6 start date, Deadline.com reports.

Johnny - who will play Native American sidekick Tonto in the film adaptation - has also confirmed he knew funding for the Western would be a problem.

He said: "We knew that the budget was going to be huge initially, and we also knew that it was going to be shut down for a while, and it was kind of like we patiently wait - we shave a little bit here, we do a little bit there, [and] they fix it."

He also admits he was keen to work on the project to subvert the traditional idea of his character.

He added to MTV News: "I like the idea of having the opportunity to make fun of the idea of the Indian as a sidekick - which has always been [the case] throughout the history of Hollywood, the Native American has always been a second-class, third-class, fourth-class citizen, and I don't see Tonto that way at all. So it's an opportunity for me to salute Native Americans."